In the past several seasons, Class 4A's Texarkana Pleasant Grove has become one of the more consistent programs in the state both from a winning perspective and in the flow of talent produced from the program.
This year's team has its share of talent, and one of the headline names is 2021 RB/LB Nick Martin (6'0, 195).
The Oklahoma State commitment has been a playmaker for the Hawks on both sides of the ball.
Martin committed to the Pokes at the end of October despite never visiting Stillwater. A decision many commits in this cycle have had to make due to the current pandemic's effect on the recruiting process.
"I've never been there, but it feels like the right place for me. Coach Gundy is a great genuine guy. He loves football, and he loves the way I play. It just feels like the right place to go," Martin said regarding his commitment.
To make up for the lack of in-person contact with college coaches, Martin has stayed in close touch over the phone with several members of the Oklahoma State staff.
Besides mentioning that he speaks with Mike Gundy once or twice a week, he also noted that Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach Jim Knowles is frequently in contact. Martin also listed Director of Football Recruiting Todd Bradford and Prospect Analyst Ryan Simmons as other points of contact for him in Stillwater.
For Pleasant Grove, Martin has been making plays for the Hawks on both sides of the ball. However, his future appears to be on the defensive side of the ball. While several schools offered him the opportunity to play both running back or linebacker, the OSU staff envisions the Pleasant Grove prospect on defense.
"I got some offers for running back, some for linebacker, and some for both. I think Arkansas would have given me the opportunity to play both sides, but for OSU it's a hybrid-linebacker type role," Martin said.
This past Saturday in the 4A Division II Area Round, Pleasant Grove defeated Nevada Community 42-0. For the second year in a row, the Hawks ended the Braves season.
Martin has undoubtedly left his mark at the Ford Center in Frisco.
The Oklahoma State commit made an impact on both sides of the ball. On offense, Martin averaged close to a first down per carry with 8.8 yards per rushing attempt along with one touchdown.
From a defensive perspective, he lined off of the edge and over the slot as well. Highlights included a forced fumble in the flat while in pass coverage and a sack in the Nevada Community backfield after coming from the edge. Showcasing the diverse skill set that Oklahoma State expects to see from him at the next level.
"It's a blessing to be here at this venue again," Martin said while giving his thoughts on Saturday's win. "People call it our second home. The defense came out, and we got a shutout in the second round. We had a great week of preparation and the game went great. The offense was also hitting on all cylinders."
Nick Martin and Pleasant Grove will look to continue their playoff run this Friday in Royse City against an undefeated Caddo Mills squad. Pleasant Grove has finished their previous three seasons in the 4A Division II state championship game. Having won two of those efforts.
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